...and rescued dogs
anthony Joynes on how he rescued a collie dog from the very worst of living conditions
Being on the front line of animal cruelty isn’t easy, but RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes can live with the hardest parts of the job if it means a renewed life for badly treated animals.
In this week’s new series of
The Dog Rescuers with Alan Davies, Anthony, 31, encounters one of the worst cases of neglect in his career. Fortunately there’s a happy ending for Timmy the collie.
‘You can’t help forming a bond with the animals you rescue. I couldn’t sleep the night we found Timmy, I knew he had a lot to overcome,’ recalls Anthony. ‘But he’s made an amazing recovery and is now living with a vet called Jo in Cheshire. He’s doing really well, and he has a new lease of life!’
What can you tell us about Timmy’s case?
He was living in one of the worst properties I’ve seen. It’s possible he’d been living in these unclean conditions for months, even years. The smell was terrible. Timmy also had a large tumour on his face.
Was Timmy’s future in doubt?
My gut feeling was Timmy’s tumour was so bad he wasn’t going to make it. But the vet discovered it hadn’t spread and removed it. Timmy now lives on a farm with Jo. It’s one of the best outcomes I’ve had in this job.
How did you become an rspca inspector?
I trained as a biomedical scientist before deciding I wanted a career in animal welfare. Actually getting the job was a whirlwind. I was told 4,000 people applied for 28 jobs! I was sure I wouldn’t get it so I applied to train as a science teacher. I eventually made it through the interview process, got the job and haven’t looked back!
What are the drawbacks to being an rspca inspector? Not only can you see horrific conditions but it’s also demanding. You can get over 30 new jobs in a day and we have to prioritise by the most in need. We’re not an emergency service or a governmentfunded body – we’re a charity and understaffed. But we do our best for animals who need us.
and the best bits?
Staying in touch with new owners and animals. I’ve been to visit Timmy twice. Also, that moment when you’re rescuing an abused animal and it realises you’re a friend. Sometimes my girlfriend Georgia has to attack me with flea spray before I can go into our house, but happy endings make it worthwhile.
Happy at last: timmy with anthony and his new owner
timmy with the large tumour and (left) after surgery to remove it